Seneca the Younger, Epistles

LCL 76: 322-323

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The Epistles Of Seneca

deposuit. Hi paulo tardius surgunt, sed cum tamquam a planta processerint, nihil habent in se abhorridum aut triste.

20Illud etiamnunc vidi, vitem ex arbusto suo annosam transferri; huius capillamenta quoque, si fieri potest, colligenda sunt, deinde liberalius sternenda vitis, ut etiam ex corpore radicescat. Et vidi non tantum mense Februario positas, sed etiam Martio exacto; tenent et 21conplexae sunt non suas ulmos. Omnes autem istas arbores, quae, ut ita dicam, grandiscapiae sunt, ait aqua adiuvandas cisternina, quae si prodest, habemus pluviam in nostra potestate.

Plura te docere non cogito, ne quemadmodum Aegialus me sibi adversarium paravit, sic ego parem te mihi. Vale.

LXXXVII. Seneca lvcilio svo salvtem

1Naufragium, antequam navem adscenderem, feci. Quomodo acciderit, non adicio, ne et hoc putes inter Stoica paradoxa ponendum, quorum nullum esse falsum nec tam mirabile quam prima facie videtur, cum volueris, adprobabo, immo etiam si nolueris. Interim hoc me iter docuit, quam multa haberemus supervacua et quam facile iudicio possemus deponere,


Epistle LXXXVII.

of young saplings are wont to be. These grow a little more slowly, but, since they spring from what is practically a cutting, there is no roughness or ugliness in them.

This too I have seen recently—an aged vine transplanted from its own plantation. In this case, the fibres also should be gathered together, if possible, and then you should cover up the vine-stem more generously, so that roots may spring up even from the stock. I have seen such plantings made not only in February, but at the very end of March; the plants take hold of and embrace alien elms. But all trees, he declares, which are, so to speak, “thick-stemmed,”a should be assisted with tank-water; if we have this help, we are our own rain-makers.

I do not intend to tell you any more of these precepts, lest, as Aegialus did with me, I may be training you up to be my competitor. Farewell.

LXXXVII. Some Arguments in Favour of the Simple Life

“I was shipwrecked before I got aboard.”b I shall not add how that happened, lest you may reckon this also as another of the Stoic paradoxes;c and yet I shall, whenever you are willing to listen, nay, even though you be unwilling, prove to you that these words are by no means untrue, nor so surprising as one at first sight would think. Meantime, the journey showed me this: how much we possess that is superfluous; and how easily we can make up our minds to do away with things whose

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.seneca_younger-epistles.1917